Winter Preserves

Since I was a little girl, the idea of growing throughout the summer and stashing away for the winter sounded so perfect. Having the rafters full of drying spices, baskets filled with potatoes and squash in the cellar, and only venturing outside to grab winter carrots from the garden - how wonderful!

Spring in the Woods

There is nothing quite like the woods in spring. There is still the hush of winter, broken by the chirp of birds, the crisp spring breeze rustling the last of the fall leaves and swaying the tops of the trees, making them creak and brush against each other. It makes you want to whisper and watch. We recently went home to help take down a few trees, and had the joy of watching the woods wake up from winter.

Seed Starting

My favorite part about starting seeds is getting to grow plants months before the snow stops falling. I love watching the tiny plants pop their heads out of the soil, preparing for spring before there is even a robin in sight. 

Garden Herbs

Herbs for me are perfect things to add in where there is a pocket of space, or where they can benefit the plants that need it the most. Herbs are perfect to grow amongst your vegetables, as they help with pest control. Herbs can actually mask the sent of your plants to pests, confusing them of the tasty vegetables' location. Some herbs actually improve the growth and taste of other plants. Basil actually helps tomatoes grow, and blue borage makes strawberries sweeter. How cute is that?

Asparagus, Rhubarb & Strawberries

Asparagus and rhubarb are so bizarre to watch as they push their way out of the ground in the early spring. They seem to defy nature with the way they push through chilly soil, with rhubarb unfurling into big beautiful green leaves, and asparagus poking their bright, long stalks out of the ground, which I swear sometimes grow several inches overnight. Strawberries come with their own level of wonder, as bright, super sweet berries fill tiny little plants. I am so looking forward to how my perennial plants will grow and develop this season!

Garlic & Onions

I am so excited about the onions and garlic I am growing this year! Garlic is a garden wonder I am so excited to keep working at. The fact that you stick them in the ground in the fall, and wait for them to make their way out of the ground in the spring is so amazing to me! I have also found that homegrown garlic and onions have a flavor unlike anything you can buy in the store. They also keep through the long and cold months of winter, making it so enjoyable to dig into the winter storage and still use something fresh from the garden.

Lettuces & Other Greens

In past seasons, I considered greens to be a garden staple, and grew the most basic cut-and-come-again lettuce and butterhead lettuce. After having enjoyed a few salads while traveling in Europe, I realized that the world of salad greens is vast and full of various textures, flavors, colors and forms. I am excited to branch out this growing season and try out a range of different greens.

Beets, Carrots & Radishes

Root vegetables are my favorite to grow, and I grow ALOT of them:) I love the surprise of pulling a vibrant radish or beet out of the garden. I am in awe of how stunning the colors can be, fresh from the garden soil. Roots are also perfect to grow as they can be harvested at almost any growth stage - young, crisp beets and carrots are perfect in spring, while full-sized, earthly and rich roots make excellent fall and winter dishes. Root vegetables also benefit from a touch a frost, making their earthly flavor a touch sweeter. This makes them perfect to grow here in Minnesota, as our growing season is so short, and  frost is bound to happen early in the fall.

Beans & Peas

For me, green beans are a garden staple, something you must grow if you are a backyard gardener. They are high yielding and just about everyone loves garden-fresh green beans. Peas on the other hand were a new vegetable to me when I first started gardening. I mean, of course I have had a bag of frozen peas from the grocery store, but I had never had a crisp, sweet fresh-from-the-pod pea. They are now a must grow for me, and are given a hefty space within my garden bed. So excited to share the pea and bean varieties I am trying out this year!

Garden Planning

I know, I know, there is still snow on the ground outside, and the last thing you can imagine right now is tiny plants sprouting from the ground. To be honest, I never stop thinking about it! I dream about the garden often, rethinking garden plans, how to get the most out of my space and growing season, what I want to have to enjoy over next winter, and how all the plants growing together will look and taste. Garden planning is one of my all time favorite thing to do, and it breaks up the cold monotony of winter.